VMware removes SRM obstacles to adopting vSphere 4

VMware releases SRM 4.0, which now supports vSphere 4, NFS, and vCenter Linked Mode

VMware today released the update to its Site Recovery Manager (SRM) software, bringing it from version 1.0 to 4.0. While VMware has added quite a few new features and enhancements to SRM, the step up from 1.0 to 4.0 is meant merely to streamline the product version to keep it in line with vSphere 4.0's number versioning.

Before this release, VMware users operating with SRM in their environments were unable to upgrade and take advantage of the new features in vSphere 4. VMware said numerous customers have delayed upgrading from vSphere 3.5 because of that SRM incompatibility problem.

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With the latest SRM release, users will be able to take advantage of the software in a mix mode environment running ESX 3.0.3 (or higher), ESX 3.5, and ESX 4 host servers. However, in order to do so, all hosts must now be managed by vCenter 4. This could help accelerate adoption of vSphere 4.

In addition to adding vSphere 4 support, SRM 4.0 also includes a many-to-one failover that protects multiple production sites with automated failover into a single, shared recovery site.

Some of the other new features and enhancements VMware announced include:

  • Full support for NFS-based arrays
  • A single protection group can now include up to 1,000 virtual machines (previously 500)
  • SRM recovery plans can now power-on or power-off a host that is in standby mode
  • SRM can now protect virtual machines that have been configured for fault-tolerant operation (however, they lose their fault tolerance and must be manually reconfigured after recovery to have it restored)
  • With Linked Mode support, it is easy to see all of the SRM protected sites in one vCenter client

Vendors that were on the SRM 1.0 hardware compatibility list (HCL) will have to recertify their agents to show that they work with SRM 4.0. Many of them have already done so, and the remaining few should finish this certification process by the end of the month.

Pricing on the new version has not changed. The cost will remain at $1,750 per CPU socket.

One of the last remaining hurdles for full VMware vSphere 4 support is VMware View, the company's desktop virtualization solution. However, VMware claims that View compatibility with vSphere will be made available in its next release, expected sometime in 2010.

If you are looking for a good source on how to upgrade your SRM environment, check out VMware's Uptime blog post. And if you are ready to download SRM 4.0, it is available and ready for download on VMware's Web site.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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